200,000km optical fibre cable to boost connectivity in Pakistan

IT minister says approval of Space Policy has opened satellite internet market for global companies
A represenatational image. — Canva
A represenatational image. — Canva

With the initiation of laying 200,000 kilometres of optical fibre cable, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication (IT&T) Dr Umar Saif reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment towards enhancing connectivity.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, Dr Saif said that during the past four months, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication has exhibited outstanding performance.

Acknowledging the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), the federal minister said that the forum had played a significant role in obtaining timely approvals for the ministry’s policies and projects.

It was learnt that the IT companies were set to benefit from a new facility allowing them to keep 50% of their earnings in dollars in their accounts.

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He further added that a global standard training programme had been initiated for 200,000 IT graduates who had recently completed their studies at various universities.

Shedding light on the concerns regarding the digital payment gateways for freelancers, he claimed that the issue has been resolved. From February 1, a pilot project would create 10,000 accounts, allowing freelancers to receive their payments directly through them, the minister said.

With a hope that IT exports would increase annual IT exports to $10 billion besides creating employment opportunities for some 100,000 freelancers, Dr Saif announced that 10,000 employment centres were being established where the freelancers would enjoy convenient facilities under one roof.

Pakistan Startup Fund

The minister assured that all obstacles regarding the 5G spectrum would be addressed as per the directives of the Action Advisory Committee for its auction in July-August. He viewed that the implementation of the Right of Way Policy had resolved disputes between various institutions.

With the establishment of the Telecommunication Tribunal, a long-standing demand of the telecom sector had been fulfilled, he said. To support young entrepreneurs, Dr Saif said, the Pakistan Startup Fund of Rs2 billion had been launched. He said the Research and Development Funds were also being established to facilitate mobile phone manufacturing companies.

The minister further added that the approval of the Space Policy had opened the satellite internet market for global companies.